COVID-19/Coronavirus Impact on Events – Using Structured Data for Canceled, Postponed, Rescheduled Events, or Event Moved to an Online-Only Format

If you were planning an event and the new government guidelines for large indoor/outdoor gatherings (in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus COVID-19) have got you worried, then Google is here to help you.

In case your event is being canceled, postponed, rescheduled or being moved to an online-only format and you want to inform about your event updates to Google and thereby it’s search engine users, it is recommended that you follow the below guidelines to provide the most accurate information.

All you will need to edit is the Structured Data in the HTML of the event pages on your website, make sure that you are following Google guidelines and that Google has indexed the new information on your event pages.

In case you have any queries related to the same, please send a message using the Send Enquiry form (tab available on the right hand of your screen) or simple leave a comment below. We will reply to your queries ASAP. Structured Data is part of on-page SEO. As part of our SEO Package we optimize the structured data for our clients.

The New Optional Properties Added by Google in the Wake of COVID-19

On March 17, 2020, Google added 4 new event properties to manage the dates of an event: eventStatus, VirtualLocation, eventAttendanceMode, and previousStartDate.

Important Note: The Rich Results Test might not reflect the new properties yet or might show warnings or errors. But according to Google, you can disregard the warnings and errors.

eventStatus property is most important property in this regards and allows Google to show its users the current status of an event. Here is how you should use this property:

1. In case your event is cancelled: Update the eventStatus to EventCancelled as shown in below example. Keep the original date in the startDate of the event. Don’t remove or change other properties (for example, don’t remove startDate or location); instead, keep all values as the same as they were before the cancellation.

{

“@context”: “https://schema.org”,

“@type”: “Event”,

“eventStatus”: “https://schema.org/EventCancelled”,

“startDate”: “2020-07-21T19:00”

}

2. Postponed events and date not known yet: Update the eventStatus to EventPostponed as shown in below example. Keep the original date in the startDate of the event until you know the rescheduled date. Don’t remove or change other properties (for example, don’t remove startDate or location); instead, keep all values as the same as they were before the postponement.

{

“@context”: “https://schema.org”,

“@type”: “Event”,

“eventStatus”: “https://schema.org/EventPostponed”,

“startDate”: “2020-07-21T19:00”

}

3. Rescheduled to a later date: Change the startDate and endDate of the event structured markup. Update the eventStatus to EventRescheduled as shown in below example and add the previousStartDate.

{

“@context”: “https://schema.org”,

“@type”: “Event”,

“eventStatus”: “https://schema.org/EventRescheduled”,

“startDate”: “2020-07-21T19:00”,

“endDate”: “2025-07-21T23:00”,

“previousStartDate”: “2025-03-21T19:00”

}

4. Event Moved to an Online-Only Format: If the event has been converted to an online-only format, add the location.url property, set the @type to VirtualLocation and set the eventAttendanceMode property to OnlineEventAttendanceMode. Here is an example of how you should use these properties:

{

“@context”: “https://schema.org”,

“@type”: “Event”,

“eventStatus”: “https://schema.org/EventMovedOnline”,

“eventAttendanceMode”: “https://schema.org/OnlineEventAttendanceMode”,

“location”: {

  “@type”:”VirtualLocation”,

  “url”: “https://operaonline.stream5.com/”

},

“startDate”: “2020-07-21T19:00”

}

How to Update Google When Your Event Changes

Once you have made the changes you can request Google to re-index your page by using the “Request Indexing” method in the “URL inspection tool” of Google Search Console. You should also update the <lastmod> parameter of your event page in XML sitemap and resubmit the Sitemap using Google Search console.

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5 Replies to “COVID-19/Coronavirus Impact on Events – Using Structured Data for Canceled, Postponed, Rescheduled Events, or Event Moved to an Online-Only Format”

  1. Nice article! When using the example codes, I noticed that Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool doesn’t recognize the markup. Do we need to further incorporate your example code into the JSON-LD on schema.org so it does validate?

  2. I was reading through some of your articles on this website and I think this website is really instructive! Keep on posting.

  3. Well I sincerely liked reading it. This information procured by you is very effective for good planning.

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